You may want to redecorate your living room or design your first family space and it’s important to take the arrangement of your furniture into consideration.
If you want to create comfortable and inviting atmosphere of the space you have available, use our guidelines to not only select proper furniture but also understand how different pieces alter a room.
Determine the arrangement
Start by making your room empty by removing all the furniture in order to get a better idea of space’s shape without the existing arrangement influencing your judgment. What if you don’t have enough storage space in your home? It’s advisable to remove as much as you can and place the remaining pieces in unobstructed corners while planning. For most living rooms it’s recommended to choose a few big elements following by few smaller ones. When it comes to the large pieces of furniture, these should make up most of the furnishings by volume. In order to complete the look, keep in mind to add other elements such as tables, ottomans, and other pieces. Also, consider providing drink stands or footrests but remember not to obstruct passage through the room or turn a great arrangement into a busy mess. You can incorporate a couch, an armchair or a bookcase, which will also allow you to outline usable space and set the color scheme. Notice that two end tables and a small coffee table will be perfect for serving multiple functions, such as providing smaller items for more visual interest without taking attention away from the larger items. If you have a living room in an odd shape, i.e. with angled walls, keep in mind that these make space appear too spread apart or too crowded.
It’s advisable to choose a focal point, as every room benefits from it. You can choose any object that attracts the eye and gives you something to orient your other pieces around. Plus, adding a center of attention will make your guests more comfortable. The most popular focal points are usually up against one wall, such as the fireplace, television or a set of windows. You can also create a seating arrangement along the other sides of your space, keeping in mind to angle these slightly toward the focal point. What if you don’t have any focal point but want to encourage more conversation? You should consider creating a symmetrical arrangement of your furniture, with seating on four sides. To create more visual harmony without distracting your guest’s attention, try decorating your bookcase or another tall piece of furniture, too.
Remember to leave some space between the furniture and walls, since a sofa and armchair pushed back against a wall will make your room seem unwelcoming and cold. Instead, arrange your furniture inward on at least two or three sides in order to create a more intimate atmosphere. Depending on your preferences, you may want to follow our guidelines on distance. It’s recommended to allow 3 feet wide space, where people will walk, and if you have little kids, you should increase this to 4 feet. If you don’t have enough space to have walkways on at least three sides of your room, it’s advisable to pull your furniture inward and place a lamp behind it. You can choose a standalone one or a lamp standing on a narrow table. Keep in mind that light creates the illusion of additional space.
In order to arrange your furniture for convenient use, you can readjust our tips to match your household’s habits. You should place your coffee table 14-18 inches from seating, but you can always shorten or lengthen this distance, depending on your personal preferences. It’s recommended to place side chairs 50-100 inches from the sofa, making sure you have enough space to walk between them. The placement of your television will depend on the size of your room, the eyesight of viewers and of course your personal preferences. However, it’s advisable to put the seating facing the television 3 times further from the tv as the height of the screen, for example, a 15-inch tall screen should be placed 45 inches from your sofa. Then all you need to do is adjust it to suit your taste.
In order to create restfully and welcoming design, don’t forget to use symmetry, as it brings order and calm, which is a great way to rest your mind. You should create a space with a bilateral symmetry by imagining drawing a line across the center of the floor and placing your furnishing on one side, while the other side should mirror this arrangement. One of the most popular options is to create a focal point in the center of one wall, while placing your couch on the other side of your room, facing the centerpiece. Don’t forget to add chairs or smaller couches on either side of your couch, facing inward. If you want to complete your space, consider incorporating coffee table or end tables. Keep in mind it’s not required to have identical furnishings, you can also choose an L-shaped couch and place a low-end table on the opposite side of it because the overall shape is more important than the exactly matching pieces.
To add excitement to your space, use asymmetry. It’s recommended to make one side of the room different than the other, no matter if it’s completely different furnishings or other smaller changes. You can make your living room exciting and bring a sense of motion to it, as a minor asymmetry can add a nice touch even to a restful space. It’s advisable to start with small changes at the beginning and keep adjusting until you achieve the effect you desire. You can place your bookshelf against a corner instead moving it to in the center of your wall to make it more interesting. If you feel like it’s uncomfortable, you can always balance it out with one or two paintings or artwork on the opposite side of your wall.
When it comes to placing your furniture, you should do it one by one in your room, starting with the largest, major pieces. It will not only help you get a feel for your space element by element but also adjust further pieces as you go. If you bought new furniture, it’s recommended to place the existing pieces first, before you purchase the smaller ones, because it may turn out you changed your wind on the way through the arrangement.
How to make a small room appear spacious
It’s recommended to choose a small number of different pieces, especially if you don’t have enough living room space to fit all the furnishing you want. Instead, go for multipurpose furnishings, such as multi-part sofas, which can be divided into two pieces or extended to have a foot rest. You should focus on finding pieces that serve more than one purpose.
Adding lightweight furniture when having guests is great for taking up your space permanently, as these can be easily brought in when you have a number of guests. In order to add comfort and variety, consider keeping a couple of armchairs or a small couch.
Using furniture at roughly the same height will prevent your space from looking claustrophobic and cramped. Try to place your books onto short end tables if you want to raise their height, but don’t want to replace them.
To make your living room feel more spacious, it’s advisable to let in natural light by using more transparent or lighter curtains, which will also make your space brighter. You can also add more artificial light, such as side lamps or table ones to brighten up the room.
Adding one or two mirrors to a room is a great way to create the illusion of space and give your living room an airy feeling. It’s a great way to make your living room appear more spacious, especially during times of low sunlight.
Another great idea is to replace some furniture with glass, such as glass doors, glass topped tables or open doorways, which will make a room more spacious, too. Notice that furnishings with thinner bodies raised legs to reveal more space to the eye.
Using neutral, less intense and soft colors, like beige or cool blue will make your space feel airier and warmer. Try not to choose intense or dark shades. It’s best to start by adjusting cushions, drop cloths and decorative pieces, as these can be cheaply and easily replaced than furnishings or walls.
How to make a large living room appear cozy
If you have a large living room and want to make it cozier, you should use large, low furnishings to divide the space. Creating two or more separate sections will influence the mood of your space and make it more livable and less intimidating. You can choose low-backed or backless sofas, keeping in mind that L-shaped furniture is one of the best choices to divide a space if you don’t want to block line of sight. Also, it will prevent creating tall distractions in the center of your living room. Keep in mind that a large rectangular space divided into two squares is more appealing to the eye. Creating one or more sub-sections for other purposes is also a great idea, but remember to keep the overall color scheme in the room.
If your living room is not big enough to divide it comfortably, consider filling the space with oversized furniture to make it cozier. You should replace your small couch with a larger one if you don’t want it to feel out of place, or simply purchase a second matching couch. Then angle these two slightly toward each other, which will be one side of your furniture arrangement.
It’s recommended to incorporate large wall art or multiple smaller pieces, as it will make a pleasing arrangement visually filling your space. Don’t forget that tapestries are usually larger and cheaper than paintings.
When it comes to bare areas and corners, you ought to fill them with some tall house plants. It will not only add color to your empty space but also make it more interesting and welcoming, so it’s advisable to incorporate some indoor potted plant you’re willing to care for.
Don’t forget to add accessories to your living room, such as sculptures, decorative figurines or ceramics in order to draw attention to a smaller scale. Try not to clutter your table, because it will become unusable, but one to four pieces on each is a great compromise.
Last, but not least, consider decorating or painting the ceiling and walls in order to complete your redesign. You can choose rich shades, wainscoting or multiple colors if you want to make your living room less bare. Plus, your guest will feel encompassed by the space in a cozy environment if you draw their attention to the walls.
Test arrangements without moving or purchasing furnishings
In terms or measuring the dimensions of your doorways and living room, use a tape measure and notepad. It’s recommended to record the width and length of your room, including the measurements of each wall if your space is not rectangular. Also, check the width of each doorway or other entrance to the room, and the distance each door extends into space when open. If you don’t have a tape measure, you can always take a ruler and check the length of your foot from heel to toe. Then walk heel-to-toe along the wall in order to multiply the number of your foot lengths by the length of your foot. If you want to put the large painting on your wall, keep in mind to check the height of the ceiling, too. If you want to rearrange your furniture, it’s advisable to measure the length, width and height of each one. You can also measure the length of each side for non-rectangular furniture, like corner sofa.
Now take a graph paper and draw a scale outline of your living room, keeping in mind the measurements to make it proportional. It’s recommended to choose the largest scale possible to fit on your graph paper. Don’t forget to draw each door and how it opens into the room in order to show how much space it takes up as it opens. One of the most popular scales to use is 1 graph paper square is equal to 1 foot. It’s advisable to write your scale on your graph paper not to forget it.
It’s recommended to cut out paper models of your furniture to the same scale referring to your earlier measurements. You can also play around with paper models of different shapes and sizes to check all the possibilities you have for buying new furniture.
You should consider different arrangements on your paper map, but don’t forget not to block the path of the doors, as people usually need 3-4 feet for a comfortable walkway. If space seems to be too small, consider making adjustments or reducing to fewer or smaller furnishings.
When it comes to arranging your living room furniture, it’s always a good idea to look at pictures in magazines to get inspiration. You can easily make adjust them to match your own style and preferences.Work with your room’s shape and size and use furniture that fits the scale to achieve the best effect.